The weather was set fare on Saturday so we took a picnic lunch to NT Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk.
It was good to see more signs of spring, including this Arum Lily and...
...these lovely primroses.
There were a number of 7-spot Ladybirds, mainly on the dry leaves. I guess some may have been emerging from their over-wintering layers.
Some were scuttling about or resting in the sunshine.
We ate our sandwiches by this flint churchyard wall where I noticed a Red Underwing (Catocala nupta) in 2016. Sadly we failed to find any moths this time.
This was the view over the wall, of which more in a moment.
I always enjoy seeing the Oxburgh Hangings, stitched by Mary Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwick, but on this occasion the spring weather kept us largely out of doors (though we did visit the tea room and secondhand bookshop).
I noticed this log-bench by the path in the woodland area, and thought what a brilliant bit of recycling. I could do with one of these benches in our own garden!
We could see these beehives in the area near the orchard. If you don't keep bees or have space for a hive, you might like these Green&Blue bee-bricks, which I read about on Instagram - or you might prefer to place an insect hotel in your home patch: my hotels have certainly been taken over by some grateful residents.
We heard a lot of munching in the stream and wondered if there could be a Water Vole. We stood and waited, but nothing actually appeared.
However, in another part of the stream, we noticed quite a few fish. I guess they are Sticklebacks, but my fish knowledge is negligible. I wondered if one was preparing to lay (or 'fan') some eggs. Unfortunately my camera failed to cope well with the underwater conditions...
The scene above brought back memories of the tiny BBC Springwatch hero from RSPB Minsmere, Spineless Si!
It is always a joy to find a Bee-fly. I must add this record to the recording list.
The 'summer house' by the stream, designed along the lines of an original that was used by Sir Henry Paston-Bedingfeld and his friends and relations, draws me every time.
On this occasion the summer house was empty so we were able to take up residence for a few minutes!
It was soon time to head to tea room for a slice of lemon and lime cake.
We decided to pay a quick visit to the church next door. There are extraordinary pink terracotta carvings in the chantry chapel.
You will note from the signs above and below that the village uses a different spelling from Oxburgh Hall.
Light was fading and it was time to head for home.
|The Oxburgh Hall sundial|